Board of Education honors teacher, 2 former students

BOE chair Brian Goralski presents the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year plaque to Christina McKirryher at the Sept. 22 meeting.

BOE chair Brian Goralski presents the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year plaque to Christina McKirryher at the Sept. 22 meeting.



The Southington Board of Education (BOE) met for their regular session on Thursday, Sept. 22 with a positive agenda and a handful of public participants. Board members recognized a teacher, the DECA club, two fallen soldiers, and above average test scores at the high school.

The BOE opened the meeting with a celebration of excellence for Southington’s 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year, Christina McKirryher. Board members and residents were able to meet with the local teacher and honor her for her devotion to students and education.

During this time, BOE Chair Brian Goralski presented her with a plaque on behalf of the entire board.

The board then heard from Southington High School (SHS) DECA students and advisor Sandy Spinello about field trip requests to enhance DECA learning experiences. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

The two students—both officers for the SHS DECA program—told the board what last year’s field trips meant to them and how they benefitted their education. The BOE unanimously voted in favor of the out-of-state trips for the group to take if they advance in competition.

Spinello later said in an email, “Our students are working hard on projects and preparation to be able to successfully compete at the state level in early March and acquire spots to be able to compete at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC) being held this year in April in Anaheim, Calif.”

Another important vote was made at the meeting regarding two former SHS students that were killed in Vietnam. William Beard (Class of 1966) and Clement Dupuis (Class of 1967) left school to serve the country during the war, and never returned home.

American Legion Kiltonic Post 72’s commander, Steve McCarty, requested that the BOE acquire diplomas for the two fallen soldiers, which he plans to give to their family members.

Superintendent Timothy Connellan said, “The state law was in existence that allowed boards of education to grant diplomas to veterans who had left high school to serve their country for WWII or the Korean Conflict.  That was amended in Connecticut to add Vietnam-era Veterans.”

Earlier this year McCarty sent in applications for the diplomas, and the Southington BOE entertained the motion last Thursday evening. The two deceased veterans will be honored with their diplomas, and further, they are both being featured on the Wall of Honor this year.

The 10th annual Wall of Honor ceremony will be held Monday, Oct. 24 at 6pm in the SHS auditorium.

The meeting wrapped up as SHS principal Brian Stranieri gave an academic report regarding advanced placement (AP) classes and SAT scores. Two new AP courses are being offered this year, microeconomics and computer science principles.

Stranieri’s presentation showed that SAT scores from SHS students exceed the state average scores.

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